Photo Credit: Edison Boodoosingh[/caption]
Nestled in the majestic hills of Trinidad’s North Coast is the rural, farming village of Paramin. With a gorgeous landscape, quaint homes and rich culture, it’s no wonder that director, Maria Govan chose Paramin as the backdrop for her film, Play the Devil which opened the trinidad+tobago film festival on 23rd September, 2016.
Play the Devil is a coming of age drama about a creative and gifted young man whose encounter with a rich businessman changes his life forever. He struggles to between being true to himself and succumbing to social pressures while trying to keep things stabilized at home. It’s not long before things seem to spiral out of control for young Gregory. Play the Devil explores how individuality, sexuality and masculinity within the Caribbean.
Photo credit: Play the Devil – Abigail Hadeed, Slice Studios[/caption]
We follow Gregory’s journey to self-discovery amidst the panoramic images of the Paramin landscape. He ponders upon life and often speaks with his best friend on a ledge overlooking the green hills. Their problems are large but the larger than life view gives a sense of abundant hope. The scenic blue Avocat River and Waterfall is referred to as the boys’ “church” where their “sins are washed.” This river acts as an essential ritual in the growing boys’ lives. Life in the quiet and serene Paramin seems so simple while in actuality, Gregory’s is far from, facing many complex battles.
Paramin is also home to Trinidad and Tobago’s traditional Carnival character, the Blue Devil, who dances the Jab. Gregory’s participates in this carefree, uninhibited dance during Carnival with other villagers. In an interview* with Variety, Govan said “When I asked the villagers what it (the dance) means to them, they explained that they give the devil his/her “dance.” They pay the devil his/her due on this one night, expecting then that the devil leaves the village alone for the year.” The culture of this village and by extension, Trinidad and Tobago, is important to Gregory’s being. The cultural dance seems to be almost freeing and allows one to be rid of all inhibitions, exactly what Gregory strives for.
Play the Devil was one of three feature films that received funding from the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (FilmTT) in 2014. FilmTT continues to support the development of the local industry and to promote Trinidad and Tobago as the ultimate filming destination for local and international crews and we are proud to have been a part of such a fantastic film. Check out Play the Devil‘s screening on Sunday 25th September, 6:00 pm, MovieTowne POS.